Archive for the 'Mammals' Category

05
Apr
22

Hare’s breadth

This little girl passed close by the other day. Tania said she looked as though she’d had her nose in her mums makeup bag!

05
Mar
22

Sabre toothed Deer

This little lad came close enough to photograph the other day. Just look at those retractable tusks!

31
Dec
21

Happy New Year

This year has been a strange one. A year of two halves and contrasts. The first half, once again like 2020, became a period of sedentary incapability. Tours and trips had to be cancelled. Unpicking the arrangements with boat operators and hotels is never easy. Indeed, sadly some of them financially went to ‘the wall’ as their business slumped.

I always said that because of the way I run the business, and my financial affairs, WT&E would front out anything thrown at it no matter how long the lockdown, without the help of government handouts. Little did I know that the business levels in the second half of the year would bounce back so strongly and so quickly.

Guests were keen to get back into the countryside and I couldn’t blame them, having been isolated and restricted for so long. However, safety of guests was paramount. Local day tours were conducted by guests following in their own vehicle and longer tours when we shared a vehicle were carried out against a background of testing by both guests and me. As a consequence, we had some good local tours and some effortlessly successful tours away.

A good relationship this year with ‘Wild Ken Hill’ and involvement in a small way with some of the good things they are trying to do there was very pleasing. Long may their rewilding and regenerative agricultural development continue.

Still no trips abroad. I feel it would be foolish to commit to these yet. To do so in the current environment is inviting difficulty and potential unnecessary expense. Maybe in 2023. The wilds of Australia, North and South America will all still be there; as will the Atlantic Islands. All on our agenda.

A single new bird for me during the course of the year was the Syke’s Warbler on Blakeney Point in September. The supporting cast of other birds, dragonflies, butterflies and cetaceans were many, but perhaps the pick of the crop was the Sei Whale in the Firth of Forth.

The accompanying photo I took of a Sanderling last week, a bird renowned for running up and down beaches, perhaps summarises the year; a lot of backwards and forwards.

All in all a good year. 2022 promises even more. I hope above all hope the coming year gives you your needs and desires. Happy New Year.

27
Dec
21

Sealed

This young male Grey Seal was hauled out on a lonely Norfolk beach this week. He was resting and we left without disturbing him.

18
Sep
21

Wild Boar

I have just been reading a facebook page which had a slice of video on it that stated the film was taken in Norfolk and it featured a wild boar.

I have no doubt the person that posted the video did so in good faith. In fact it featured an Iron Age Pig rather than a Wild Boar. Iron Age Pigs are hybrids between Wild Boar any any breed of domesticated pig. They are used by land owners that are rewilding their land. Several farms in Norfolk are now beginning to put land aside for rewilding. They use pigs, usually Tamworths, but a few use Iron Age, alongside Exmoor ponies and Cattle. The turnover of the land by the pigs and the browsing and grazing by the cattle and horses, alongside wild deer, keeps the land from ‘wooding-up’. The bushy, scrubby landscape that ensues is ideal for such species such as Nightingale, Turtle Dove and Warblers like Whitethroat and Blackcap.

There are no Wild Boar at large in Norfolk as far as I’m aware. Although I did investigate a couple of reports about 10 years ago that didn’t come to anything. However, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again … anythings possible.

11
Aug
21

Leporids

A few Leporids around on tours the other day.

23
Jul
21

Odds and Sods

A few photos from this spring and summer, taken on tours around the county and country, that I haven’t had time to post previously …

22
Jul
21

Brows and blows

After a busy few months Tania and I wanted to get away for a few days. So we made a plan. First stop Bempton to see the Black-browed Albatross. I’d seen the Sula Sgeir bird a decade or more ago but how could you say no to an Albatross in British waters. You just ‘have’ to go and see it. They are the bees knees of seabirds. A thought not shared by the Gannets who didn’t take to their larger cousin at all. He ousted a few off the cliffs to crash land among them. Tania had great views of the bird as she looked down on the bird circling below her.

First part of the plan completed we thought we’d carry on North and visit Kinghorn. Now this is the second time this year I’ve called at this pretty village just over the Forth from Edinburgh. I paid a visit at the end of May. The idea then was to see if the guests on the UK Mammal Tour could add Sei Whale to their lists. Despite it’s rarity in UK waters there had been one kicking around in the Firth of Forth for a few weeks. Sadly it wasn’t to be as the whale didn’t play ball. However, Tania and I thought it would be worth a revisit this week as the Sei Whale was still being seen with some regularity. It took some time, but eventually the third largest animal on the planet graced us with a ‘swim-past’. In fact two; once going up river and then a second as it returned East. Thanks to Ronnie Mackie for his invaluable help and great company in seeking out this addition to our British mammal list. The last time I saw one of these creatures it was amid the clear waters of a Chilean Fjord on the day Tania and I first met; a long way from a small seaside town on the East coast of Scotland.

02
Jun
21

Whale Whispering

Just finished the penultimate day of our UK mammal tour. We went whale whispering to the East of the Isle of Staffa. Managed to call up three separate Minkes feeding in what was obviously a food rich area.

30
May
21

Hares

Some cracking numbers of Hares around the Norfolk fields at the moment. At Kelling the other week we saw around 20 in one field.




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